April 22, 2020

Gratitude Precedes Generosity

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 22, 2020

And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ. Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people. Philemon 1:6-7, NLT

A neighbor of ours is not only practicing responsible social distancing by suspending the services of the couple who clean their house, but our generous friends still pay them. What a beautiful way to show thanksgiving and generous love. Keep supporting those who are unable to work because of the service nature of their profession. A grateful heart tends to well up in generous deeds, while trusting God to work things out for the good of everyone. I want to be like our neighbor—showing my gratitude with generous actions.

Paul understood the principle of being grateful for God’s incredible blessings in Christ, and out of that overflow of thanksgiving to express generosity in tangible ways. Refreshing a heart with kindness. Experiencing the fruit of joy and comfort that flows from a love seeking to serve. As Paul says, “Understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ”, this attitude of gratitude to the Lord for His unspeakable gifts compels us to love out loud. Gratitude to God is an incubator for generosity to God’s people. Yes, Jesus refreshes us, so we are able to refresh others! 

“The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25).

It is  so very encouraging to hear the generous stories fueled by gratitude and love for neighbor around our beloved country. Our adult children keep us in the loop with John Krasinski’s creative and encouraging SGN (Some Good News). Companies repurposing their manufacturing to produce masks, along with cottage industries blowing the dust off old school sewing machines (so proud of my sweetie, Rita for re-employing her stitching skills!). Teachers parading cars through their students’ neighborhoods in loving solidarity and caring community. A crisis brings out the best and the worst in individuals and societies. So good to see the good winning!

During this divine pause, take time to be grateful for God’s blessings. Make a gratitude list and read it out loud over meal time. Call or text a friend to check on her and thank her for being a significant person in your life. Hand write a note/letter to your spouse. Tell him how proud you are of him, and the joy he brings to your heart. Describe to her how you love and cherish her for being her. Thank her for being patient with you and for forgiving you often. Zoom video with your grandchildren and read them stories (The Gruffalo is a fav with our grands!). Praise to God brings out angels of generosity in God’s economy. He gives more so we can give more!  The Lord will use your generosity to illustrate the best gift of His son Jesus for the world to trust.

“He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord” (Psalm 40:3, NLT).

Prayer

Dear Lord, I praise you for your generous gift of salvation through your son Jesus, in His name, Amen.


Application

How can I be a generous giver and not a selfish taker during these difficult days?


Related Reading

Isaiah 24:16, 42:8; Daniel 2:23; Romans 15:9; Ephesians 1:14

Here is a helpful resource during these days of grief, sorrow and uncertainty: A Little Book of Comfort


Post/Tweet today

Experience the fruit of joy and comfort that flows from a love seeking to serve. #generous #WisdomHunters #truth #Jesus


Worship Resource

7 minute video: Housefires: 


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